I visited Chiquito for the first time recently and, to my surprise, thoroughly enjoyed myself and my food.
My expectations were fairly low – not because I don’t enjoy Mexican food, I like it a lot, but because it is a chain located in a leisure park alongside a bowling alley and a cinema, something I visit less frequently than I would like since Netflix crept into my evenings.
I thought of Chiquito as being fast food but the new summer menu is anything but, not least because of the spectacular cocktail concoctions with which my partner and I began our evening.
He went for a passion fruit mojito (£6.95), this had caught my eye before I spotted the avocado and passion fruit margarita (£7.75); both were equally delicious and not too strong to accompany dinner.
To start we went for the piña colada prawns (£6.95) and jalapeno poppers (£5.75) – sharing is why I love Mexican food, you need not worry yourself too much with choosing the perfect plate. What stood out the most in these dishes was the watermelon and mint salad that came with the prawns, because it was an unexpectedly spectacular mix. Something I took a mental note of for dinner parties and picnics throughout the summer.
With the same concern in mind about making the perfect choice I went for the antojitos to start, it translates as “little cravings” and is three small dishes inspired by Mexican street food (£12.95). I had empanadas with a mini chicken burrito, sweet chorizo croquettes, and sweet potato and feta quesadilla bites. The flavours were amazing in each dish, which together was surprisingly filling and so I struggled to finish.
My other half had the baked infused sea bass marinated in ginger, red chilli and coriander, then baked in a parcel to infuse (£15.95). This was perhaps a little overdone, although this depends on how you like your fish, but the flavours were well put together.
Letting our food settle a little before moving on to a desert we both went for a Grey Sunrise cocktail (£7.75) which had Grey Goose vodka, passion fruit purée, fresh lime juice and a hint of vanilla, served with a shot of Prosecco.
Still unable to stomach a whole dessert we decided to share the golden nugget cheesecake (£5.75), filled with chocolate and honeycomb pieces, served with fresh strawberries and chocolate sauce. The strawberries and the sauce were the best bit of this with the pair of us certain that we could make a much better cheesecake ourselves. The flavour was slightly dull.
Overall the food is nice but it did not blow me away and the venue was so vast that I think it is a spot for friends rather than dates. The cocktails, however, were both wonderful and innovative.
To find your nearest Chiquito restaurant visit chiquito.co.uk